If there’s a name that’s synonymous with Australian’s dance music scene, it would have to be Robbie Lowe. Rave Reviewz' Sean McDonald caught up with the eclectic DJ about his illustrious career after his set at Enter the Beehive; part of the 'Meet me in Darlo' event.
RR: Robbie, great set. Enter The Beehive and Meet Me in Darlo have been a lot of fun, how involved have you been with the Keep Sydney Open movement?
Robbie: I hold the flag up high for the cause – it’s in my best interests and I want to see the culture stay strong in Sydney. You’ll always find me on the frontline.
RR: You’ve been DJing in Sydney a long time and must have seen a lot of change. How do you feel about the current state of the industry, particularly since the Lockout laws took effect?
Robbie: There’s no denying the lockout laws dealt a heavy blow to the industry. SPICE was my dream gig and I had residency there at the time of the lockouts, which eventually shut it down. It was a real blow because our business model was based on after hours – it turned a lot of livelihoods, whether a DJ, club, restaurant owner, etc, upside-down. But out of this huge negative came a lot of positives. It’s brought everyone closer together and created a new scene, a sort of revolution; right now, I think Sydney has never been so vibrant. There are parties everywhere, including after-hours parties again and it has set us all on a different course. The government are also starting to loosen their grip and will continue to. Nothing can stop the music!
RR: Absolutely! You’re a big part of the By Your Side team, who represent many emerging DJs and producers. Do you get involved with mentoring these new talents as they navigate through the industry?
Robbie: I do! Once upon a time I was a budding DJ and Paul ‘Flex’ Taylor saw me and passed on his wisdom – I like to help the aspiring DJ's I see with passion and potential by offering advice and doing the same. By Your Side’s director, Jimmy Galvin is a very good friend of mine and his heart is in the right place. He throws parties from the heart and is doing it all for the right reasons.
RR: As a veteran DJ, you’ve enjoyed many late nights and travelled around the world; do you have any tips for young DJs on their well-being and enduring a long career?
Robbie: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I’m a keen surfer – it keeps me grounded and I love being in the ocean. Surfing looks after my body and after all these years, I feel my career is still going strong. I won’t stop DJing anytime soon and I haven’t peaked. I think it’s important to look after yourself as you can burn out really quickly.
RR: Sound advice. You’ve shared the decks and warmed up for many international superstars – is there a particular gig that stands out for you?
Robbie: I did some great warmups for Digweed – one at Home in 2006 and a Greenwood gig 5 years ago. I also did Tiesto warmups at the Hordern Pavilion for a crowd of 6000 people which was amazing. But the standout would have to be my 8 hour set at Spice which actually went down a week before the lockout laws. The gig was to celebrate 20 years of DJing and from start to finish I had the crowd. James Zabiela rocked up during it and tapped me on the shoulder to ask if we could play B2B which was humbling as he is one of my favourite DJs – he didn’t realise I was on a mission to play an 8 hour set. Any other night I would have said yes!
RR: Haha, sounds epic. Is there a DJ you haven’t supported yet but would love to?
Robbie: I’m very lucky to have played alongside all my progressive house favourites – Sasha, Digweed, Howells, Dave Seaman, Cattaneo, Kleinenberg… there are some techno DJs I like but I think there are other DJs that champion that sound that would do a better job.
RR: Fair enough. What can we look forward to from you in the future? Any projects in the pipeline that you can reveal?
Robbie: I’m playing at the Global Underground gig at the Greenwood Nov 4, which is a real honour because Global Underground is close to my heart. I’m also doing main stage sets at Electric Gardens and Subsonic – can’t wait for those!
RR: You mentioned your love for surfing and all of us at Rave Reviewz enjoy your hilarious cooking adventures on Instagram. Is there anything outside of DJing you would like to pursue in the future?
Robbie: Well, I’ve worked for everything I’ve got and I can’t say I’ve taken life too seriously – I just try and have a good time. I never had mega aspirations, I just do what I love and strive to be the best I can be. I always believed I was born to be in the entertainment industry somehow. Maybe one day I could open a restaurant/bar, DJ and be like Rocky Balboa when he runs his restaurant telling old DJ stories! Right now, I love nothing better than mixing tracks and making people dance.
RR: And you sure do make them dance. Thanks Robbie.
📷: Robbie with John Digweed @ Greenwood Hotel 2012